Keeping Boogie’s Smile Bright

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Dental care is important for overall pet health for dogs and cats

If you’re wondering why your dog or cat has stinky breath, it is definitely time to visit your veterinarian and discuss dental care. Stinky breath could mean there is something more serious lurking below the gum line, and no amount of “breath freshening” treats can fix it.

Boogie and his pack have been on a regular dental care schedule since they were adopted, and what works for us is a process called NADS, or Non-Anesthetic Dental Service. This is a process in which the dog’s teeth are gently cleaned without the dog being put under anesthesia. For a pet like Boogie, who lives with special needs, NADS is a great option for us, and we have it done by Veterinary Dental Service (VDS) who performs the service at our veterinarian’s office.

Chuck Purkey founded VDS after witnessing the inadequate and dangerous dental care at grooming and boarding facilities. He found that there was no real oversight of the procedure technicians were performing, or veterinarian supervision in the facilities, and the result was pets with new loose teeth, damage to the tooth enamel and gum line, and a path for infection, ultimately making their dental health worse.

Boogie with Dr. Shayda at East Chapman Veterinary Center

Knowing there was a better way and passionate about providing the highest standard of care to pets, he sought out mentorship and training from veterinarians to assist him in creating a safe, effective, and gentle protocol. Additionally, with your pet’s safety always the priority, VDS services are only provided at veterinary practices with a veterinarian and staff on site.

Boogie and his pack have benefitted from regular NADS cleanings as part of our overall dental care plan. It is important to know that you must be referred by your veterinarian, so you will have to see your doctor before making an appointment. Here are some commonly asked questions about the NADS service, and how to find veterinarian partners near you.

Chuck Purkey holding a smiling Boogie after his teeth cleaning.

What will my pet experience during this procedure?

If your pet is determined to be a candidate for NADS, at their appointment they will be gently swaddled in a blanket and placed at an angle on their back so that the cleaning can begin. Some larger dogs don’t require swaddling, and simply sit through the procedure. From there, the VDS team will examine your pet’s mouth, alert your vet to anything extraordinary, then proceed to scale the tarter and polish the teeth.

Why do you only come to veterinary offices?

The reason for this is to ensure he has access to the pet’s health history, the recommendation of a NADS service from the pet’s doctor, and in the event of an emergency—say, a broken tooth or abscess is discovered—the situation can be dealt with at the hospital.

Is every pet a candidate for NADS?

No, NADS is not a one-size-fits-all option. Only your veterinarian can tell you which treatment is appropriate for your pet.

How can I find out if my pet is eligible for NADS?

Visit the VDS website for a list of veterinarians they work with. Contact the veterinarian that is best for you, let them know you’re interested in NADS for your pet, and they will guide you through the next steps required.

Who is an ideal NADS patient?

■ Pets who have recently received an anesthetic dental, have an at home brushing routine, and are ready to begin a vet-approved maintenance program.

■ Pets who are calm and adjust well to new sounds, sensations, and handling by others.

■ Pets who have special health concerns that make it a high risk to go under anesthesia.

What can I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth and mouth healthy?

Chuck Purkey is an advocate for at-home brushing, and at your NADS appointment, he and his staff are available to walk you through how make brushing part of your pet’s at-home routine.

Dental Stats:

■ More than 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have active dental disease. (VCAHospitals.com)

■ Studies show that bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream and be carried around the body. (AVDC.org)

■ Periodontal disease has been associated with changes in the kidneys, liver, and heart. (AVDC.org)

Warning Signs of Dental Disease:

■ Bad breath

■ A yellowish-brown crust near the gum line

■ Red, swollen gums

■ Bleeding gums while eating

■ Difficulty eating or loss of appetite

■ Loose or missing teeth

Unlicensed Cleanings

Facilities other than veterinary offices with a vet on staff are not able to provide adequate care should an emergency arise. These practices are not only dangerous but also illegal! To report illegal cleanings, please contact:

Dr. Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA
SCVMA, 5576 Corporate Ave., Cypress, CA 90630
Phone: (714) 821-7493
scvmainfo@scvma.org

Alicia Bailey
Alicia Bailey is a writer specializing in animal welfare topics and issues. Prior to writing full time she spent 13+ years working in rescue and animal sheltering, holding leadership roles in both. She has worked with numerous local and national non-profit organizations including Best Friends Animal Society, NKLA, The Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Coachella Valley Animal Campus, and many others. Alicia is mom to 3 uniquely abled dogs, including @LittleBoogieShoes & @Bust.A.Moves.

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